When You Feel Your Dancer May Be Falling Behind

Reader Question:

My dancer recently auditioned for the high school dance team with several dance friends.  She is a rising freshman.  She did not make the team, but her friends did.  These girls have danced together since they were little.  As you can imagine, being the only one not to make it has not been easy for her.  Auditions are held at our studio in August.  There are additional opportunities available this year that my dancer was previously excited about, but now after not making the high school dance team, she is questioning her ability on dance in general.  She takes advantage of all class opportunities at our studio throughout the summer.  In addition to that, what would you recommend to a dancer that may be falling behind their peers.  I’m trying to get her to see that this is a minor setback and that with a little extra effort she will be right where she needs to be.  If a dancer is behind, can they catch up at this age or is it nearly impossible?


When You Feel Your Dancer May Be Falling Behind

This can be such a hard situation to go through – for your daughter and for you as a mom to watch her experience.  First, Don’t let her feel like she is falling behind or not good enough. These high school teams, whether dance, cheer, sports, etc., are sometimes about politics, and are sometimes judged by others who may not be trained in those areas. I am not saying this is what happened in your situation; however, I would not automatically assume she is falling behind.

That being said, this is a great opportunity to encourage her to continue to work hard at what she has been doing – taking the extra classes. Maybe not being on the team would allow some free time for her to be able to take some private lessons and work on technique or take some extra ballet classes. If possible, she can sit down with her dance teacher and find out what she needs to be working on. Maybe if the teacher has some younger classes in the studio she needs assistants for, then this would be a good opportunity. This way she is helping others, but also keeping busy doing something she loves! Additionally, this can be helpful to give her something to focus on while friends are at practice. She will also learn some things in those classes too.  Encourage her to never give up!  She needs your support and encouragement.


If your child truly loves dance, then this is just a minor setback. Keep encouraging her to give it her all with other opportunities that arise. I promise you, as teachers, we see the hard work and it is always rewarded in some way. See if her dance teacher will give her a few technique privates or stretching privates to catch her up where she is behind. It is DEFINITELY not too late for her to really improve and get where she wants to be as a dancer. Take advantage of every master class that comes your way, any kind of private lesson, any classes she can take that are even with the younger kids to improve her technique. You’re exactly right though- with a little extra effort, she will get right back in step with her peers!


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